Wigan Athletic chairman Dave Whelan has reiterated his view that Marlon King will never play for the club again but hopes the striker can resurrect his career away from the Latics.
King moved to Wigan from Watford in a £3million deal in 2008 but was jailed last October for 18 months after being found guilty of sexual assault and actual bodily harm.
Whelan terminated King’s contract when the forward was convicted, and has now told TalkSPORT: “I paid £3million for that lad and I don’t think Steve Bruce would have signed him had he known his record.
“He’s coming out today, he’s served his sentence, I’m sure he’s learned a lot and I forgive him and I wish him well if he gets back into the game.
“A lot of people commit crimes and go to prison and what they say is they’ve served a sentence and they’ve paid the penalty. It would be wrong of me to say ‘no, he should never play football again’.
“I was very upset at the time, but I really think you’ve got to forgive people because we all make mistakes and, if he can get back into the game, good luck to him. If the club know his record beforehand and they want to take the chance, then it’s up to them.
“I think it would be wrong to punish Marlon now – I’ve forgiven him and I hope the young lady who he offended has forgiven him. It wouldn’t bother me if he came to play against us. But he’ll never play for Wigan, I’ll say that.”